Death Head Valley II: David Charlesworth
Reviewed By David Sodergren
The first Friday the 13th film I ever saw was part 6, Jason Lives. My brother and I rented it from Ritz Video, a few years before Blockbuster bought it over in the mid-90s. Ritz had parts 3, 5, and 6 available, but we figured the most recent one would be the scariest and the goriest. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t seen the original, as it was a slasher film, which could be boiled down to a simple formula.
Teenagers + hulking killer = fun.
The reason I bring this up is because I read the original Death Head Valley back in 2018, and I couldn’t quite remember the details. I thought about reading it again before tackling the sequel — hell, I loved that book — before deciding to just go straight into it. And you know what? It didn’t really matter, because Death Head Valley II is a terrific standalone read.
That said, you would definitely get more out of this book if you’ve read the first part. Charlesworth hasn’t created a bland, faceless killer in Connor Finlayson. There’s lore, an interesting backstory woven throughout the narrative in amongst the brutal kills, and when I say brutal, I mean it.
Every slasher worth its salt features highly creative kills, and Death Head Valley II is full of them. Charlesworth positively revels in the destruction of the human body, beginning with a suspenseful scene on a radio tower, right through to my favourite, a claustrophobic section set in some underground caves. This sequence alone is worth the price of the book.
There’s a surprising lack of novels based on the slasher movies of the 80s. Or is it surprising? Many of those films featured non-existent plots and paper-thin characters, which are hardly the recipe for literary gold. Luckily, Death Head Valley II is more Just Before Dawn than Don’t Go In The Woods…Alone. It’s tightly written, moves at a brisk pace, and has witty dialogue and likeable characters. You could argue there are sometimes too many characters to keep track of, but don’t worry. Give it a few pages, and a few of them will most likely be dead.
Death Head Valley II comes highly recommended. It runs about 130 pages, and part one is a similar length, so my recommendation would be to pick both up and make it a gruesome double bill. If you’ve ever enjoyed a good old fashioned slasher movie, with all the blood and booze and pre-marital sex you crave, then you’re guaranteed to have a good time with the Death Head Valley series.
Death Head Valley II
The blood has not yet cooled on the ground as more victims enter the valley, unaware that there is an unyielding force there whose only desire is to kill. Kill! KILL!
CONNOR FINLAYSON IS REAL.
No longer a thing of speculation and myth, the monster that stalks the Death Head Valley carries on his deadly duties; taking the lives of those who wander into his domain. Forces in the valley are asking for sacrifices… whispering a single demand to Connor…
BLOOD MUST FLOW!
Ignorant to the massacre that occurred the night before, more hapless victims offer themselves up to the lumbering horror that stalks the valley. A couple at their breaking point, a family tearing themselves apart, and a handful of teens hoping for the summer of a lifetime. Nobody is safe and there will be no mercy.
Retro slasher DEATH HEAD VALLEY part II ups both the ante and the gore.
Out of the shadows and unleashed, Connor Finlayson has arrived and NOTHING can prepare you for the brutality he’s bringing with him.
David Sodergren lives in Scotland with his wife Heather and his best friend, Boris the Pug.
Growing up, he was the kind of kid who collected rubber skeletons and lived for horror movies.
Not much has changed since then.
His first novel, The Forgotten Island, was published on October 1st 2018. This was followed by Night Shoot, a brutal throwback to the early 80s slasher movie cycle, in May 2019.
2020 will be Sodergren’s biggest year yet, with two new horror novels being published. Dead Girl Blues is a slasher-noir mystery, and it will be followed by a return to full-blown supernatural horror before the end of the year.
You can follow David on Twitter @paperbacksnpugs
To find out more about David please visit his official website www.paperbacksandpugs.wordpress.com
Find David on Instagram here
The small Scottish town of Auchenmullan is dead, and has been for years. It sits in the shadow of a mountain, forgotten and atrophying in the perpetual gloom.
Forty-seven residents are all that remain.
There’s nothing to do there, nothing to see, except for a solitary grave near the top of the mountain.
MAGGIE WALL BURIED HERE AS A WITCH reads the faded inscription.
But sometimes the dead don’t stay buried. Especially when they have unfinished business.
A relentless folk-horror nightmare from the author of The Forgotten Island, Maggie’s Grave will disturb and shock in equal measure.
Dead Girl Blues
When a young woman dies in Willow Zulawski’s arms, it sets in motion a chain of events that will push her to the brink of madness.
A mysterious video is the only clue, but as Willow digs deeper into the murky world of snuff movies, those closest to her start turning up dead. Someone out there will stop at nothing to silence her.
After all, when killing is business, what’s one more dead body?
Part noir mystery, part violent slasher, Dead Girl Blues is the latest twisted shocker from David Sodergren, author of The Forgotten Island and Night Shoot.
The Forgotten Island
When Ana Logan agrees to go on holiday to Thailand with her estranged sister Rachel, she hopes it will be a way for them to reconnect after years of drifting apart.
But now, stranded on a seemingly deserted island paradise with no radio and no food, reconciliation becomes a desperate fight for survival.
For when night falls on The Forgotten Island, the dark secrets of the jungle reveal themselves.
Something is watching them from the trees.
Combining the cosmic horrors of HP Lovecraft with the grimy sensibilities of the Video Nasties, The Forgotten Island is an outrageous old-school horror novel packed with mayhem and violence.